Arianespace during third in 2017 flight of Vega rocket delivered to orbit MN35-13 (Mohammed VI-A) imaging satellite for Kingdom of Morocco on November 8, 2017.
Weighing 1110 kg military and civilian imaging spacecraft for Morocco was launched yesterday from SLV launch site at 01:42 UTC. Satellite which was designed and manufactured by Astrium Satellites and Thales Alenia Space of France, will serve mainly for civilian purposes like surveying activities, regional development, agricultural monitoring, the prevention and management of natural disasters, monitoring changes in the environment and desertification. Still its potential, mainly thanks to its high resolution imaging devices, is also able to serve well for border and coastal surveillance.
Satellite arrived to French Guiana on September 22, 2017 and after integration process it was fueled with hydrazine (for its 4 × 15 Nms thrusters) on October 17. After five days of final assembly and encapsulation, Vega with Mohammed VI-A arrived to Vega Launch Site on October 26, 2017. Three days ago rocket was already after launch readiness review (RAL) and final fairing inspection.
Rocket was punctually launched at 01:42:31 UTC. P80 first stage long for 11.7 m with 3 m diameter started to provide 2261 kN of thrust burning HTB 1912 solid propellant. maximum dynamic pressure was reached on 13 km of altitude after 53 seconds of flight, and separation was performed at T+1’57”. Zefiro-23 second stage started to operate and thanks to its 871 kN engine fueled with HTPB put rocket to altitude of 150 km. It separated at T+3’40”. Next, third stage, Zefiro-9, was ignited (fueled with HTPB and providing thrust of 260 kN). Payload fairing separated 17 seconds later and Zefiro-9 was released at T+6’34”. Upper stage AVUm long for 1.7 m with 1.9 diameter started its liquid fueled RD-843 engine (2.42 kN, propellant: UDMH/N2O4) at T+8’03”. It was cut off at T+15’48” and started its coast phase on elliptical Parking Orbit. AVUM was ignited again at T+52’06” for 1 minute 49 seconds and at T+5533″ deployed Mohammed-IV-A on designated 630 km orbit. Spacecraft begun its planned for ten years mission.
According to Arianespace, satellite was deployed correctly on SSO orbit and its telemetry shows general good condition of the spacecraft. Mission is 11th in the row success of Vega rocket, smallest from all launch vehicles owned by Arianespace.